The Only Artist Statement I'll Ever Need To Write / by Ron Cowie

Artist Statement

One of these days, I'm going to die. That scares me and it always has. People are dying all over the place and one of these days, that's going to be me. I have no control over this beyond taking basic precautions (e.g. not playing in traffic, don't drink poison, avoid rattlesnakes, etc). As you can imagine, this total lack of control creates a certain amount of anxiety (self-centered fear). Most days, I can kind of see it for what it is and get on with the simple business of life: pay bills, call people, do the dishes. Other days, not so much.

Using a camera, I'm try to calm the fuck down. I go out looking for beautiful places and things to photograph. I want to believe in God and an afterlife, but if this is all there is, I want people to know that I was on the planet and this is what I saw. Actually, I do believe in God but have absolutely no clear idea what that really means. No one, if they're being totally honest, does.

The only thing I know for sure is when focused and composed light hits a piece of sensitized film, I calm down.

I don't use my camera to point out life is unfair and often cruel. My work isn't political or attempting to raise awareness about any particular human condition...except that I can get wound up tighter than a banjo string. I'm a parent, so it doesn't take much for me to climb a tree worrying about the world my children are living in and how I can protect them from what I see as threatening. Truth is, aside from immunizations, nervous lectures about being safe, and a proper diet, I got nothing.

The titles to my work are not supposed to make perfect sense. It's more fun that way. I name images after Smiths lyrics, lines from movies, Bible verses, porno movies, you name it. The ultimate purpose for the titles is to remind me of something that calmed me down.

I print in platinum and all these old school processes because they are slow and meditative. They also are beautiful and will last a really long time. In that sense, I'm trying to cheat death for a few centuries. The real reason I like using these processes is, you guessed it, it calms me down.

So, to sum up: my art is about doing everything in my power to calm the fuck down. Any theme or idea that stems from this taproot is pure gravy.

Yes, I want you to buy my artwork. I want you to support my efforts with your money. I appreciate the relationship we have and, even though I have a hard time accepting praise (Canadian ancestors), I'm honored whenever you collect what calms me down. I'd like to think that what works for me will work for you.